A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 4. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1911.
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Romescye (x cent.); Romesy (xi cent.); Romesie (xiii cent.); Romeseye (xiv cent.).
The scattered parish of Romsey includes Romsey Infra, almost coterminous with the municipal borough, and Romsey Extra, extending on all sides of Romsey Infra. The whole parish covers an area of 10,216 acres, sloping towards the town, which lies low near the middle of the parish, near Romsey station on the London and South Western Railway. The River Test runs past the town on its west side, dividing into two main streams at Greatbridge and re-uniting above Middle Bridge. The Abbey Church of St. Mary and St. Elfleda is necessarily the centre of architectural interest in the town. The old Town Hall at the west end of the Abbey Church was built in 1820 and is now used only for lectures and concerts. The modern Town Hall at the corner of Bell Street was built in 1866. It is of red brick with Bath stone facings. In the principal of the two marketplaces is a bronze statue of the late Lord Palmerston erected by public subscription in 1867, while between the two market-places is the Corn Exchange, in front of which is a drinking fountain given to the town by the late Lord Mount Temple in 1886.
Romsey has great natural advantages and had at one time a flourishing trade, which has now decreased. Its prosperity now depends mainly on the rich agricultural country of Romsey Extra, in which, just south of the municipal boundary, lie the Broadlands house and estate, formerly the residence of Lord Palmerston. The estate is bounded on the west by the River Test, famous for its trout fishing. Broadlands was visited by James I in 1607, his host being the then lord of the manor, Edward St. Barbe. To the west is Pauncefoot Hill, now part of the Broadlands estate, but once a separate manor. South-west of Broadlands on the other side of the river is Moorcourt, opposite to which across the Test are Lee, Skidmore Farm and Toothill. North-west of the town is Stanbridge Hall and south of it is Sparsholt. Ashfield, Cupernham, Woodley, Crampmoor and Ridge are also in Romsey Extra. There are 3,122¾ acres of arable land, 3,470¼ acres of permanent grass and 819½ acres of woods and plantations in Romsey Extra and 51 acres of arable land, 195 acres of permanent grass in Romsey Infra. (fn. 1)
The common fields of Romsey Extra, Abbotts Wood and Common, Carter's Common or the Warren and Parkridge Wood were inclosed in 1808 under an award of that date, authorized by an Act of 1804. (fn. 2)
The following place-names occur: —Bradebrigg, (fn. 3) Rugge (fn. 4) (xiii cent.), Prestlond, Haredale, (fn. 5) Asshefeld, Cupernam, Haltreworth, (fn. 6) Whytenharpe, Wopbury (fn. 7) (xiv cent.), Rok, (fn. 8) Gaterygges Place (fn. 9) (xv cent.), Stonyffrythe, (fn. 10) Combes Wood, Combes Hatte, Julyans Will alias Filcis Will, Maggottes Corner, Shittelhams, (fn. 11) Abbess Wood, Ostrey and Holborne Woods, (fn. 12) Tappesham, Langley Meade, Colemede, Clerkes House, Gatehouse, Conygarth, (fn. 13) Bycroft, Shortstiche, Cowbeares, Sisters Gardens, Rockclose, Steward Land, (fn. 14) Fox Mills, (fn. 15) Monckton Meade, (fn. 16) Horshedd, Le Pastury, Buryemede, (fn. 17) Blanchampy, Stretmede, Basilmede, Banystrett-in-Whitnapp, Milbride, Spyttelstrete, Churchstrete, Northgarston, Style, (fn. 18) Oxlease, Magna and Parva Lushborow, Julilushborow, Northemore, Marland, Strode, Walding, (fn. 19) Owre-at-Owrebridge (fn. 20) (xvi cent.), Sutt Garden (fn. 21) (xvii cent.), Marke Field, Belle Mead (fn. 22) (xviii cent.).
Romsey was a mesne borough and followed the same descent as the manor of Romsey Infra (q.v.). It was from an early date a town of some importance, due partly to the presence of the famous abbey in its midst and partly to its happy situation on the River Test at the junction of the main roads from Salisbury, Winchester and Stockbridge. Henry I granted the abbess and convent a full market each Sunday and a four days' fair at the Feast of St. Elfleda the Virgin and the king's firm peace to all coming and going. This grant was confirmed by Henry II and in 1268 by Henry III. (fn. 23) In 1272 Henry III further granted a four days' fair at the Feast of St. Philip and St. James (fn. 24); so it may be assumed that Romsey was then in a flourishing condition. However, in 1526 it was visited by the plague, (fn. 25) and in 1586 there was great dearth and want of work there, causing 'unlawful assemblie of the common people.' (fn. 26)
In 1544 Henry VIII granted to the inhabitants to be one body corporate in perpetuity and as such to hold the abbey church there. (fn. 27) Romsey was not regularly incorporated, however, until 1607, in which year the citizens obtained a charter from James I, (fn. 28) which was confirmed by William III in 1698. (fn. 29) By the terms of the charter of 1607 the corporation, which was to have a common seal, was to consist of a mayor, six aldermen, and twelve capital burgesses, the mayor to be elected by the aldermen from among themselves, the officers of the corporation to be a recorder and a town clerk. (fn. 30) The mayor held office for one year, the aldermen and capital burgesses for life. (fn. 31) A bye-law of 1743 regulated that the mayor was to be elected by the aldermen and capital burgesses from two aldermen nominated by their colleagues, while the aldermen were to be elected from capital burgesses only. Freedom, as appears from the returns of the Parliamentary Commission in 1835, was acquired by election by the corporation. (fn. 32) In addition to the recorder and town clerk, there were in 1835 a lord high steward, whose office was merely honorary, and two serjeants-at-mace, one of whom acted as town-crier and the other as gaoler. (fn. 33) The mayor, recorder and aldermen had power to hold a court of record every Thursday and a court of pie powder granted by the charter of 1607, which, however, was never held. (fn. 34) The mayor, late mayor, recorder and two senior aldermen were justices of the peace, the mayor presiding at quarter sessions and acting as cleric of the market and justice of the peace for the year following his year of office. (fn. 35) Petty sessions were held once a week. The borough was reformed in 1835, and is now governed by a mayor, four aldermen and twelve burgesses.
The two fairs with the weekly market were included in the grant of the manor of Romsey Infra to John Foster, (fn. 36) but were subsequently acquired by the lord of Broadlands, who was returned in 1891 as owner of the market, which he leased for a yearly rent of £20 to the corporation. (fn. 37) A third fair, to be held on the Monday and Tuesday following Easter, was granted to the town in 1607. (fn. 38) In 1891 the fairs were held on Easter Tuesday, 26 August and in winter. (fn. 39) The fair days are at present Easter Tuesday, 26 August and 8 November. The market day, originally Sunday, was subsequently changed to Saturday, (fn. 40) but since 1826 the market has been held on Thursday.
Romsey has tanyards, breweries, corn-mills, iron works, jam makers' works and leather-board and paper mills, and had at one time a flourishing trade in shalloons. (fn. 41) Berthon collapsible boats are also extensively manufactured, their inventor, the Rev. Edward Lyon Berthon, having been formerly vicar of Romsey. In 1835 the inhabitants complained that while the population was increasing trade was decreasing. (fn. 42)
The borough was never represented in Parliament, although in 1689 it petitioned for the privilege in the case of Stockbridge being disfranchised. (fn. 43)
Several distinguished men have been natives of Romsey, among whom are Sir William Petty, the political economist and one of the founders of the Royal Society; Giles Jacob, the compiler of the Law Dictionary; Samuel Sharp, geologist and antiquary, and Sir J. Russell Reynolds, physician in ordinary to the queen's household. Dr. John Latham, ornithologist and archaeologist, spent a good part of his life at Romsey, (fn. 44) and collected material for a history of the town, which, however, remains in manuscript. (fn. 45)
The manor of ROMSEY was held by the abbey of Romsey at the time of the Domesday Survey, (fn. 46) and had no doubt been so held since the foundation of the abbey in 907. (fn. 47) The abbess and convent had a grant of free warren there in 1369, (fn. 48) and held the manor until the Dissolution, (fn. 49) when they surrendered to the king, (fn. 50) who in 1544 granted the manor of ROMSEY INFRA to John Foster, late steward of the abbey, and Richard Marden. (fn. 51) The latter granted his share in the manor in 1545 to John Foster, (fn. 52) who held Romsey Infra until his death in 1576. (fn. 53) His son and heir Andrew died in 1595, leaving a son and heir John, (fn. 54) who two years later conveyed the reversion of the manor of Romsey Infra to trustees for the payment of his debts, (fn. 55) and died in 1597, leaving as his heir his brother, Barrow Foster. (fn. 56) In 1600 the trustees, who had been sued by John Foster's creditors for the payment of the sums owing to them, (fn. 57) sold the manor to John More, serjeant-atlaw, (fn. 58) who died seised in 1620. His son and heir John, aged nineteen, (fn. 59) died a minor, and his estates were divided between his two sisters and co-heirs, Dowsabell wife of Samuel Dunch and Anne wife of Edward Hooper. (fn. 60) Romsey Infra fell to the share of Edward Hooper and Anne, and passed from them to their son Sir Edward Hooper, who was holding in 1670. (fn. 61) On his death without issue the manor passed to the family of Fleming of North Stoneham, his sister Katherine having married Edward Fleming, who died in 1664. (fn. 62) This manor has since followed the descent of North Stoneham (fn. 63) (q.v.), the present owner being Mr. John Edward Arthur WillisFleming, J.P., D.L., of Stoneham Park and Chilworth Manor.
The site of the monastery of Romsey and the mansion called the Abbess' Lodging, with the adjoining chapel of St. Peter, the clerk's house, the gatehouse and meadows called Tappesham, Langley Meade, Colemede and South Garden, were granted in 1546 to John Bellowe and Robert Bigott, (fn. 64) but passed before 1557 to Sir Francis Fleming, with Broadlands (q.v. infra). The estate was then known as the manor of ROMSEY INFRA. (fn. 65) Sir Francis Fleming died in 1558, leaving a son and heir William, (fn. 66) who held the property until his death in 1605, (fn. 67) when it passed to his only daughter and heir, Frances the wife of Edward St. Barbe. (fn. 68) Henry St. Barbe, their son and heir, settled the manor in 1615 on himself and his wife Anna, (fn. 69) and was succeeded before 1653 by John St. Barbe, (fn. 70) who at his death in 1658 was followed by his eldest son Henry. (fn. 71) The latter died without issue three years later, his heir being his younger brother John, who was created a baronet in 1663 and died without issue in 1723, when his estates passed in accordance with his will to his great-grand-nephew, Humphrey Sydenham. (fn. 72) In 1736 Humphrey sold the manor of Romsey Infra and Broadlands to Henry Temple first Viscount Palmerston, (fn. 73) whose grandson and heir Henry followed him at his death in 1757. (fn. 74) The latter died in 1802, and his son and heir, Henry John third Viscount Palmerston, the eminent statesman, was dealing with the manor by recovery in 1808. (fn. 75) He died without issue in 1865, leaving Romsey Infra by will to his widow, with remainder to the Hon. William Francis Cowper, her second son by her first marriage with the fifth Earl Cowper. (fn. 76) The Hon. William Francis Cowper assumed the additional surname of Temple on succeeding to the property at the death of his mother in 1869, and was created Lord Mount Temple of Mount Temple (co. Sligo) in 1880. (fn. 77) He died without issue in 1888, leaving his Hampshire estates to his nephew, the Hon. Anthony Evelyn Melbourne Ashley, (fn. 78) who held the manor until his death in 1907, when he was followed by his son and heir, Mr. Wilfrid William Ashley, the present owner.
BROADLANDS, with other lands, was leased in 1538 by the Abbess of Romsey to Thomas Foster of Cranbrook (co. Kent), (fn. 79) who obtained a regrant of the lease from the king in 1541. (fn. 80) In 1547 Edward VI granted Broadlands to his maternal uncle, Thomas Lord Seymour, (fn. 81) who the same year sold it to Francis Fleming. (fn. 82) Francis Fleming was knighted the same year, and about the same time acquired the site of Romsey Abbey. Mr. Wilfrid William Ashley's property in Romsey is now known as the Broadlands estate.
The manor of ROMSEY EXTRA, also part of the possessions of Romsey Abbey, was leased by Queen Mary in 1558 to Sir Francis Fleming for a term of forty years. (fn. 83) His son, William Fleming, held the manor on lease till 1598, when it reverted to the Crown. (fn. 84) It was finally granted by James I in 1604 to Edward Gage and William Chamberlayne, trustees of Henry Earl of Southampton. (fn. 85) The latter sold it in 1606 to John More, (fn. 86) lord of the first-named manor of Romsey Infra (q.v.), the descent of which it has since followed.
Lands in Romsey Extra were sold in 1606 by Henry Earl of Southampton to Walter Godfrey of Romsey, (fn. 87) whose descendants continued to hold them as the manor of ROMSEY until 1758. (fn. 88) After this date they were probably merged in the manor of Timsbury, which likewise belonged to the Godfreys.
Among the privileges of the Abbess of Romsey were sac and soc, toll and theam and infangenthef, or the right of punishing thieves taken within the manorial jurisdiction. (fn. 89) The gallows, which had belonged to the manor from the reign of King Edgar, were re-erected in 1263 on the petition of the Abbess Amice, since it was ascertained by inquisition that they had not been used since the time of the last Abbess, Maud Paricia, as no one had been condemned for theft, and that consequently they had fallen down. (fn. 90)
The abbess and convent claimed the amercements of the assize of bread and ale in Romsey, by virtue of their free market, (fn. 91) exemption from the payment of murder fines for their land below Bradebrigg, (fn. 92) and also exemption from lawing of their dogs by the keepers of the forest of Bere, both above and below the bridge. (fn. 93) Their land paid no Danegeld (fn. 94) and without their permission no Jew could reside in the town of Romsey. (fn. 95)
Romsey Manor contained three mills at the time of the Domesday Survey, (fn. 96) and as the town was well supplied with water-power other mills soon came into existence. In 1396 the abbess gave permission to William Berill to build a new fulling-mill in the watercourse called Chaby for a yearly rent of 4s. at Michaelmas and Easter. (fn. 97) William was to keep the mill in good repair and was not permitted to fish the water without licence. (fn. 98) In 1444 it was noted that a corn-mill belonged to one John Grenefeld, 'who ought to grind at the corn-mill of the abbess. (fn. 99) This was possibly the windmill mentioned in 1298 as contributing to the issues of Romsey Abbey. (fn. 100) In 1545 two water-mills called Town Mills, and others called Mead and Malt Mills, with a fulling-mill and the fulling stocks, and a fishery formerly belonging to the dissolved monastery of Romsey, were granted to Thomas Thoroughgood and John Foster. Thomas Thoroughgood gave up his right to John Foster, who held them with his manor of Romsey Infra. (fn. 101) Another water-mill, known as Abbey Mill, and doubtless the site of an ancient mill, came with the site of Romsey Abbey into the hands of Francis Fleming, (fn. 102) and followed its descent. Two crofts in Romsey, called Fox Mills, apparently the site of a former mill, were acquired in 1585 from William Waller by Benjamin Tichborne. (fn. 103) Mills known as Town Mill, Mead or Burnt Mill, Abbey Mill and Fox Mill exist in Romsey at the present day. (fn. 104) Other mills in Romsey are Test Mill, Abbey Mill (no. 2) (fn. 105) and Saddler's Mill. Of the existent mills probably Abbey Mill (no. 1), Town Mill and Mead or Burnt Mill occupy the sites of the three mills mentioned in Domesday Book.
These mills were described in 1579 as serving not only the town of Romsey but the whole country adjoining. (fn. 106) The same year Andrew Foster and others, at a place called the ' Meade Myll Pilinge,' near Muckson and Baldham, diverted the main river of Test out of its ancient course into the grounds of Andrew Foster to serve his own mills, built upon a little creek issuing out of the River Test. (fn. 107)
Two manors, called MORE MALWYN and MORE ABBESS, in Romsey formed part of the possessions of the Abbess and convent of Romsey. (fn. 108) More Abbess probably belonged at an early date to the abbess and convent. More Malwyn, on the other hand, is evidently represented by the manor of More, granted by Thomas de Aspale and Mirabel his wife to John Malwyn and his heirs in 1353. (fn. 109) In 1367 William Malwyn and his wife Joan granted the reversion of their lands in More after their deaths to the abbess and convent. (fn. 110) At the Dissolution More Malwyn and More Abbess were granted to Edward Seymour Earl of Hertford, (fn. 111) who granted them both in 1542 to Richard Dowce. (fn. 112) The latter granted a seventy years' lease of a moiety of the manors to his younger son John the same year, (fn. 113) and died in 1544. (fn. 114) His son and heir Thomas, at his death without issue in 1562, left by will two-thirds of the manors of More Malwyn and More Abbess to his nephew Thomas, younger son of his brother John, with reversion to his elder nephew Richard, who inherited the other third. (fn. 115) The next year Thomas sold his shares to his brother Richard. (fn. 116) Richard died in 1603, when he was followed by his son and heir George, (fn. 117) who in 1613 settled half the manors on himself and his wife for life, with remainder to his daughter Marie wife of Nicholas Fuller and their heirs male. (fn. 118) Marie Fuller, who by a second marriage had become Marie Lee, was left sole heir at her father's death in 1630, (fn. 119) but dying two years later was followed by Dowce Fuller, her son by her first marriage. (fn. 120) Margaret daughter and heir of Dowce Fuller married Samuel Pargiter, (fn. 121) and was succeeded by her son Samuel Pargiter, or Samuel Pargiter Fuller, who sold the manors in 1738 to Thomas Dummer, (fn. 122) from whom they passed by sale in 1766 to William Chamberlayne. (fn. 123) At his death in 1775 William Chamberlayne was followed by his son and heir William, who died unmarried in 1830. (fn. 124) The manors then passed to his sister and heir Charlotte, and at her death, unmarried, in 1831 to her cousin, Thomas Chamberlayne. (fn. 125) The latter sold them to Henry John third Viscount Palmerston, (fn. 126) since when they have followed the same descent as Broadlands and Romsey Infra (q.v. supra). However, the names More Malwyn and More Abbess have now disappeared, and the estate is called MOOR COURT, which was probably the name given to the house which John the younger son of Richard Dowce built on his leasehold property in the 16th century. (fn. 127) John Dowce died in 1559, leaving two sons, Richard and Thomas, (fn. 128) the latter of whom inherited the remainder of the lease which he settled in 1594 on his three sons, Francis, Gabriel and John. (fn. 129) On the expiration of the lease in 1612 this estate reverted to George Dowce, and Moor Court then became the possession of the lord of the manors of More Malwyn and More Abbess (see supra).
The manor of MAINSTONE (Maihiweston, xiii cent.; Mayhneston, xiv cent.; Mayweston, xv cent.), afterwards known as the manor of PAUNCEFOOT HILL (Paunesfotes Hill, xv cent.; Pawncefoteshill, xvi cent.), belonged at an early date to the Pauncefoot family. At the beginning of the 13 th century Lemuel Pauncefoot was said to be holding half a knight's fee in Mainstone of the Earl of Hereford, who held of the king, (fn. 130) while John Pauncefoot was the owner in 1316. (fn. 131) Alexander Sampson was returned as the holder in 1346, (fn. 132) but he was probably only holding the manor on lease, as was Sir Nicholas Poyntz in 1351, (fn. 133) for Richard Pauncefoot was stated to be the owner in 1366. (fn. 134) Walter Pauncefoot was in possession in 1428, (fn. 135) and Walter Pauncefoot, probably his son, died seised in 1487, leaving an infant son and heir Peter. (fn. 136) Peter died a minor in 1492, leaving two sisters and co-heirs Maud and Anne. (fn. 137) Maud married John Brent (fn. 138) and held half Pauncefoot Hill until her death in 1521. (fn. 139) Her husband survived her until 1525, (fn. 140) when the moiety passed to his son and heir William, who soon inherited the other moiety (fn. 141) and settled the whole in 1530 upon himself and his wife Elizabeth. (fn. 142) He died in 1534, leaving a son and heir Richard, aged nine, (fn. 143) who seventeen years later leased Pauncefoot Hill to his brother-in-law, John Denham, for sixty years, (fn. 144) and in 1564 settled the reversion upon his daughter Anne on her marriage with Lord Thomas Paulet. (fn. 145) Elizabeth the daughter and heir of Thomas and Anne brought Pauncefoot Hill in marriage to Giles Hobey, (fn. 146) who sold it in 1588 to Sir Henry Portman of Orchard (co. Somers.). (fn. 147) Sir Henry died two years afterwards, and the manor passed to his eldest son John, who was sheriff of Somerset 1606–7 and was created a baronet in 1611. (fn. 148) He died in 1612, and his four sons, Henry, John, Hugh and William, succeeded in turn to the baronetcy and estates, dying respectively in 1621, 1624, 1629 and 1645. (fn. 149) Sir William Portman, bart., son and heir of the last-named, was in possession of the manor as late as 1680, (fn. 150) but it subsequently passed to Thomas Davies, who held it in 1750, (fn. 151) in right of his wife Elizabeth nee Brett. (fn. 152) It passed by sale from him to Henry John third Viscount Palmerston, and from that date it has followed the same descent as Broadlands and the manor of Romsey Infra (q.v. supra) (fn. 153)
In 1346 Walter Sampson held land in Mainstone which had descended to him from Richard Sampson. (fn. 154) The reversion of this land after the death of Walter was granted by Alan Sampson to Richard Pauncefoot in 1357, (fn. 155) and from this date it followed the same descent as the manor of Pauncefoot Hill (fn. 156) (q.v. supra).
In 1245 Henry III granted licence to Matthew de Columbers, lord of East Tytherley, to inclose his grove of SPURSHOT (Perchet, xii cent.; Purschite, Pirishute, xiii cent.; Sparsholt, Sparshutt, xvi cent.) and to his tenants to keep inclosed their purprestures and essarts in Spurshot provided that the beasts of the chase had free entry and exit. (fn. 157) Possibly these tenants were the Alexander de Cridho and Richard de Pershute who were returned by the Testa de Nevill as holding half a knight's fee in Spurshot of the old enfeoffment of Matthew de Columbers. Matthew held it of the Earl Marshal who in turn held it of the Earl of Devon. (fn. 158) This estate for a long period continued to be held of the manor of East Tytherley, and thus Ralf de Monthermer, to whom Edward II had granted the manor of East Tytherley in 1311, (fn. 159) was the overlord in 1316. (fn. 160) In 1327 it was stated to be held of his widow, Isabel de Hastings, (fn. 161) and in 1361 of the king as of the manor of East Tytherley. (fn. 162) Richard de Pershute, who was an agister of the New Forest, had been succeeded before 1279 by his son Nicholas de Pershute, (fn. 163) who died seised of a messuage, 60 acres of land, 5 acres of wood, 8 acres of meadow, and 20s. rent in Spurshot in 1327. His son Peter, (fn. 164) who at his death in 1361 was seized of a messuage, lands, rents, pleas and perquisites of court and a fishery in Spurshot, was succeeded by his son Nicholas, (fn. 165) who died in 1369–70. William the son of Nicholas (fn. 166) was in possession of the property in 1428, (fn. 167) but nothing further can be learned concerning its history until 1517, (fn. 168) in which year John Benger died seised of the manor of GREAT and LITTLE SPURSHOT. (fn. 169) It is probable that Great Spurshot represents the estate owned by the de Pershutes, while Little Spurshot is perhaps identical with the property owned by Alexander de Cridho in the reign of Henry III. (fn. 170) John Benger was succeeded by his grandson Richard Benger, (fn. 171) who died seised of the manor of Great and Little Spurshot in 1529. (fn. 172) Seventeen years later his widow Katherine and his sister and heir Anne, (fn. 173) in conjunction with their respective husbands John Whyte and Thomas Smyth, released their right to Great and Little Spurshot to John Dowce. (fn. 174) John at his death in 1559 followed by his son and heir Richard, (fn. 175) who shortly afterwards acquired the manors of More Abbess and More Malwyn (q.v.). Great and Little Spurshot have since followed the same descent as the latter manors, the owner of Spurshot at the present day being Mr. Wilfrid William Ashley.
A fishery in the River Test was among the appurtenances of Great Spurshot, extending along the bank from a place called Muxene (possibly identifiable with 'Le Muxemede,' see below) to Middlebridge. (fn. 176)
To this manor belonged also a water-mill on the Test, commonly called a tucking-mill. (fn. 177)
There were at an early date two manors of STANBRIDGE (Stanbrigg, xiii cent.; Stanbrigge, xiv cent.) subsequently distinguished as STANBRIDGE RANVILLES and STANBRIDGE EARLS.
The manor known later as Stanbridge Ranvilles, from its 14th-century owners, was held in the reign of Henry III by Andrew de Portsea of Robert St. John by the service due from half a knight's fee, (fn. 178) and continued to be held of the St. John family and their descendants as overlords. (fn. 179) Andrew de Portsea was followed by Richard de Portsea, who held Stanbridge until his death in 1318. (fn. 180) His heir was his sister Alice Loverez, (fn. 181) but she seems soon afterwards to have alienated the manor to Richard Ranville and his wife Lucy, who in 1330 settled a messuage, a carucate of land, 30 acres of meadow, 10 acres of wood and 13s. 4d. rent in Stanbridge and Romsey upon themselves for life with remainder to Richard Ranville, son of Richard by a former wife Margaret. (fn. 182) This latter may have been the Richard Ranville who was holding the manor in 1346, when it is described as having formerly belonged to Richard de Portsea. (fn. 183) By 1428 Stanbridge Ranvilles had again changed hands, and was held jointly by John Brinkhale and John Roger. (fn. 184) The manor soon passed into the possession of John Kirkby, who died seised of Stanbridge Earls and Stanbridge Ranvilles in 1469, leaving a son and heir William, (fn. 185) who on his death in 1476 was followed by his son John. (fn. 186) The latter was holding Stanbridge in 1499, but died in a few years, leaving (fn. 187) a son John, who died seised in 1558 and was followed by his son and heir Thomas Kirkby. (fn. 188) The latter died in 1601, leaving a son and heir Thomas, (fn. 189) who was succeeded in 1614 by his son and heir Gerard, (fn. 190) who died in 1628, leaving an infant son and heir Thomas. (fn. 191) The manor passed before 1713, probably by sale, to Gilbert Serle, (fn. 192) whose family continued to hold it for about a century. Stanbridge Ranvilles now forms part of the Embley Park estate, the present owner of which is Mr. Archibald Coats. (fn. 193)
STANBRIDGE EARLS (Stanbrigge Comitis, xiv cent.; Stanbrigge Erles, Standbridge Earles, xv cent.) was held at the beginning of the 13 th century by Ralph Mortimer, by the service due from half a knight's fee of Simon de Montfort, who held of the Earl Marshal, tenant in chief. (fn. 194) From the Marshal family the overlordship descended by inheritance to the Earls of Stafford. (fn. 195) The intermediate lordship of Simon de Montfort lapsed on his death and attainder in 1265. (fn. 196)
The immediate ownership passed from Ralph Mortimer to Richard Havering, who died seised of 11 marks rent in Stanbridge in 1267. (fn. 197) His son and heir Sir Richard Havering (fn. 198) granted the rent in 1313 to Thomas Danvers and Agnes his wife, (fn. 199) who were holding the manor in 1316. (fn. 200) In 1329 Agnes, who was by this time a widow, granted the reversion of a messuage, carucate of land and rent in Stanbridge to John Kenne and Margaret his wife (fn. 201) who were still holding in 1346. (fn. 202) Their heir Thomas Kenne was alive in 1401, (fn. 203) but had died before 1403, in which year his widow Joan granted the reversion of 12 marks rent in Stanbridge and Romsey to Thomas Lysle and his heirs. (fn. 204) In the same year Thomas granted the rent to John Kirkby, (fn. 205) whose descendant John Kirkby died seised of the manor of Stanbridge Earls, held of Margaret Countess of Stafford for one knight's fee, as of her manors of Wexcombe and Bedwyn in 1469, (fn. 206) From this date the manor followed the same descent as Stanbridge Ranvilles (q.v. supra) until 1652, when Thomas Kirkby sold it to Roger Gollop of Southampton, (fn. 207) who died in 1681–2 and was followed by his son George. (fn. 208) The latter held Stanbridge Earls until his death in 1685, (fn. 209) when he was followed by his son and heir Roger, who died in 1701–2, (fn. 210) leaving three sisters and co-heirs: Elizabeth wife of the Rev. William Mayo, Katherine Gollop, spinster, and Margaret wife of John Nicholls of Child Okeford (co. Dors.). (fn. 211) Elizabeth and Katherine sold their share in the manor in 1702 to John Fifield, (fn. 212) who bequeathed Stanbridge at his death in 1737 to his nephew, Benjamin Fifield. The latter, who was mayor of Romsey in 1721, died in 1748, when he was followed by his son John, who held Stanbridge Earls until his death in 1796. (fn. 213) He was succeeded by his son and heir John, who died in 1827 without issue. (fn. 214) His only surviving brother Job succeeded to the estate and died in 1840, leaving Stanbridge to his daughter Katherine wife of John Charles Hall. The latter died in 1870, and Katherine sold the manor in 1871 to William Edward Shore Nightingale of Embley Park, who had two daughters: Frances wife of Sir Harry Verney, bart., and Florence the well-known pioneer of army nursing. He left the manor at his death in 1874 to his daughter Frances, who with her husband sold it in 1895 to Sir Basil Montgomery. It was purchased in 1905 from Sir Basil by Mr. H. L. Hansard, the present lord of the manor. (fn. 215)
The lord of the manor of Stanbridge Earls obtained licence to celebrate divine service in his manor between 1500 and 1528, (fn. 216) and in 1538 George Thorpe of Leckford was baptized in Stanbridge Chapel. (fn. 217) Traces of a chapel still exist in the architecture of the kitchen of the old manor-house of Stanbridge Hall, the residence of Mr. H. L. Hansard. (fn. 218)
A messuage and land with two mills in Stanbridge were held of the lord of the manor of Stanbridge Earls by Matthew Polayn and Aubrey his wife, who granted them to John Le Spicer of Salisbury in 1328. (fn. 219) Fourteen years later the latter sold them to William de Overton the younger, (fn. 220) who held them until his death c. 1361, when they passed to his heir Thomas, (fn. 221) who died in 1369. (fn. 222) Michael, posthumous son and heir of Thomas, (fn. 223) died without issue in 1389 and was followed by his cousin Elizabeth wife of Robert Tawke, (fn. 224) who died seised of a messuage, lands and a fishery in Stanbridge in 1401. (fn. 225) Thomas son and heir of Robert and Elizabeth at his death in 1405 left an infant son Robert, (fn. 226) who apparently parted with the property, (fn. 227) for he was not seised of any lands in the parish at his death in 1440. (fn. 228) The estate probably merged at a later date with the manor of Stanbridge Earls, which contained two water-mills in 1701. (fn. 229)
A fishery in the River Test from 'Le Blakedyche' to 'Le Muxemede' belonged to the manor of Stanbridge Earls. It was held in 1401 by Robert Tawke of the then lord of the manor. (fn. 230) In 1579 Thomas Kirkby was said to be seised in right of his manor of Stanbridge Earls of the 'moiety of a certain water of the River Test from a meadow called Baldeham to Westweare.' (fn. 231)
Land in Romsey known later as the manor of ROMSEY HORSEYS was held in 1299 by Walter Romsey of the Abbess and convent of Romsey, (fn. 232) In 1349 one Maud, widow of Richard Romsey, held for life tenements in Romsey. (fn. 233) Sir Walter Romsey died in 1403 seised of tenements in Romsey, which were settled on his widow Alice (Filliol) for her lifetime. His grandson and heir Thomas (fn. 234) succeeded to these tenements on the death of his grandmother Alice a year later (fn. 235) and died in 1420. His infant daughter and heir Joan (fn. 236) succeeded to the estate on her mother's death in 1441 and married Thomas Payne, (fn. 237) but died without issue. (fn. 238) Her heirs were Joan wife of Roger Wyke, first cousin of her father Thomas Romsey, and William Horsey, who was the son and heir of Eleanor sister of Joan. William Horsey died seised of the property in 1448, and was followed by his son and heir Thomas, (fn. 239) who died in 1477, leaving as his heir his brother John. (fn. 240) In 1537 William Horsey and his wife Dorothy conveyed the manor of Romsey Horseys to Sir Richard Lyster, (fn. 241) from whom it passed to William White, who dealt with it by recovery in 1587. (fn. 242) Subsequently it was held by Gilbert Serle, (fn. 243) and remained in the Serle family until 1814. After that date its history cannot at present be traced.
The early history of the manor of SOUTH WELLS (Welles, xiv cent.) is obscure, but it is probably represented by the lands and tenements in Wells next Romsey which were held in the reign of Edward I by Nicholas de Barbeflete of Southampton in socage of the Abbess of Romsey for a rent of 57s. 4¾d., 200 herrings, 300 eels, ploughing of 14 acres of land and mowing of 2 acres of meadow. In 1294 Nicholas de Barbeflete died seised of the estate, which then included a capital messuage, two water-mills, a fishery and perquisites of court. (fn. 244) His heir was his son Nicholas, who granted the reversion of a messuage, land and rent in Romsey should he and his wife Parnel die without issue to John son of John de Moundenard in 1309. (fn. 245) Richard de Barbeflete, possibly the brother and heir of Nicholas, entered a protest, (fn. 246) and in 1311, soon after the death of Nicholas, brought a suit against Parnel, (fn. 247) the issue of which is unknown. In 1329 thirty messuages, two mills, lands and rents in Wells and other places were settled upon John Escudemore or Skidmore, in feetail, with contingent remainder to Walter Skidmore. (fn. 248) This family gave their name to Skidmore Farm, which formed part of the manor of South Wells, and it is probable that this was their place of residence. Walter Skidmore succeeded to the property, and obtained licence from Bishop Edendon (1346–66) to celebrate mass in the oratory of his manor of Wells. (fn. 249) Nothing more is known of the history of this estate until 1352, when Peter le Barbour and Isabel his wife quitclaimed the manor of Wells next Romsey, and messuages and £10 rent in Romsey, from themselves and the heirs of Isabel to John son of Thomas de Wells. (fn. 250) In 1367 John de Wells and Cecily his wife, who had the same year obtained a quitclaim of the manor from Sir John de Edendon, (fn. 251) granted to the Abbess and convent of Romsey eleven messuages, 100 acres of land, 50 acres of meadow, 100 acres of heath, 10 acres of moor and 50s. rent in South Wells and Romsey which they held of them in socage 'in part satisfaction of £20 of land, tenements and rent which the king granted by letters patent to the same abbess and convent.' (fn. 252) The manor was apparently sold by the abbess and convent to the Dean and canons of St. George's Chapel, Windsor, (fn. 253) who were in possession in 1442. (fn. 254) They continued to hold it until i860, when it was purchased by Henry John third Viscount Palmerston. (fn. 255) It is now the property of Mr. Wilfrid William Ashley. In 1860 the manor comprised the farm of Skidmore, the mansion-house of Grove Place situated in Nursling parish (q.v.), (fn. 256) part of Toothill now in the parish of Rownhams, Street Meadow in North Romsey and Osborne House in Church Street, Romsey. (fn. 257)
ROKE Manor formed part of the possessions of the Dean and canons of St. George's Chapel, Windsor, (fn. 258) but the date at which it came into their possession is unknown. By his will dated 8 June 1448 John Greenfield, who had a lease of South Wells, devised his manor of Roke to John Greenfield, of the Royal Household, and to William Pece, whom he appointed as two of his executors, for fourteen years, to dispose of the rents and issues thereof for the good of his soul and fulfilment of his will. (fn. 259) The manor was still in possession of the Greenfield family in 1481, in which year Thomas Greenfield, Agnes wife of John Hammond and Christine wife of Simon Croucheman conveyed it to Sir William Hasting. (fn. 260) In the fine there is no mention of the Dean and canons of Windsor, but the presumption is that the Greenfields held the manor on lease from them, and that this was in reality a conveyance of their leasehold estate. The manor was sold in 1650 on the confiscation of lands belonging to deans and chapters to Walter Harward, who was already in possession of a lease and occupied the house, (fn. 261) but on the accession of Charles II was restored to the dean and canons.
The hamlet of LEE formed part of the possessions of Romsey Abbey until the Dissolution. (fn. 262) In 1550 Edward VI granted to William Paulet, Lord St. John, Earl of Wiltshire, all the 'messuages, lands, tenements and hereditaments now or late in the separate tenures of Thomas Mainsbridge, John Howchyn and others in the tithing of Lee formerly belonging to Romsey Abbey,' and annual rents there amounting to £15 14s. 6d. (fn. 263) William Paulet Marquess of Winchester, the grandson of the earl, was apparently still in possession of the tithing in 1584, (fn. 264) but its subsequent history is unknown until 1718, when John Nowes, owner of Lee House, (fn. 265) devised by will all his property there for the education of the poor of Romsey. In 1862 the trustees of the Nowes charity sold the Lee estate to John Henry third Viscount Palmerston, owner of Broadlands (q.v.). (fn. 266)
A hospital for lepers and other paupers called the HOSPITAL OF ST. MARY MAGDALEN AND ST. ANTHONY existed in Romsey, the proctors whereof had licence in 1317 and 1331 to collect alms for the inmates, then in extreme poverty. (fn. 267) The site of the hospital is apparently represented by the tenement called 'Le Spyttel in Spyttylstrete,' which was included in the grant of Romsey Infra to John Foster in 1544. (fn. 268)
The first settlement of a monastic body in Romsey dates from 907, when King Edward the Elder founded a house of nuns here, and set his daughter St. Elfleda at their head. This foundation seems to have lapsed; at any rate, a new foundation was made in 967 by King Edgar, with the assistance of Bishop Ethelwold of Winchester. This re-foundation was doubtless due to the revival of monasticism and the strict Benedictine rule was now introduced, the first abbess being St. Merwinna. Materials for a history of the buildings are only scanty, as far as documentary matter is concerned, and the church as it stands to-day, the only relic of the monastic buildings, is its own best historian.
The 10th-century church, whether Edward's or Edgar's, is said to have been burnt during the Danish wars after the massacre of 1002, but this does not necessarily imply a destruction of the buildings. It is quite possible that they stood, repaired and enlarged, till the general rebuilding of the church, begun about 1120, and there is, fortunately, a certain amount of definite evidence about the older church. In 1900, during the laying down of a new floor in the nave and crossing, the remains of an apse were found, proving that the east end of this church stood on the site of the present tower. The apse was slightly stilted, and its walls continued under the western piers of the tower; they were 4 ft. 9 in. thick and had been faced with wrought stone, only one course of which remained, the base of the wall being of plastered flint rubble. The bottom of the footings on the inner face was 4 ft. below the present floor level, but on the outer face the footings were not reached at an equal depth. Under the piers a second course of wrought stone remained, and still shows above the pavement level, the 12th-century masonry being cut to fit over it. There can be little doubt that this apse remained standing till the building of the tower and was then taken down to the floor level. The other piece of evidence about the older church is to be found in the south aisle of the nave. Here the walling of the third and fourth bays of the south wall is clearly older than the work to the east and west of it, and has a distinctly early character. The triple respond at the east of the third bay is not set opposite to the second pier of the main arcade, but well to the east of the direct line, and the south wall of the two east bays of the aisle is differently treated from the rest of the aisle, corresponding in detail rather to the work in the transepts than to that of the nave. There are also signs of a break in building between the west wall of the south transept, in its lower part, and the south walls of the transept and aisle. The inference is that walling older than that remaining in the third and fourth bays of the aisle existed, at the time of the general rebuilding of the church, in the position of the first and second bays, and this, taken in conjunction with the apse, suggests a plan of late 10th or early 11th-century type, resembling that of the church at Deerhurst, in Gloucestershire, with apsidal presbytery, shallow transepts flanking a square central tower, and aisleless nave. This nave received a south aisle, and perhaps a north aisle also, early in the 12th century or late in the 11th, and it is possible that when Christina, the sister of Edgar Atheling, took the veil here in 1086 she brought an accession of wealth to the abbey which enabled the nuns to enlarge their church by adding aisles to the nave. The nave was probably about 60 ft. long, the normal dimension in an 11th-century church of the larger type, and one handed down from early times and often found continued in 12th-century buildings.
The setting out of the eastern parts of the present church, which was probably begun, as already said, about 1120, is very regular, the site having been unencumbered, but that of the nave shows several irregularities which help to throw light on the earlier history. There are three principal periods of work, the extent and progress of which are set forth in the detailed description which follows. The three western bays of the nave date from the early part of the 13th century, and are not only set out on a different axis from the rest but have slightly thicker main walls, which are very skilfully adapted to the earlier arcades. It. seems probable that the old nave was taken down piecemeal during the first two periods of rebuilding, but that the third, the 13th-century completion, was begun from the west, outside the line of the early west wall, and carried eastwards. The west wall of the old nave, which would come about the middle of the sixth bay of the present building—in other words, the middle bay of the 13th-century work—was probably standing when the new west end was set out, and the alteration of axis would easily occur in the process.
The church must have been finished about 1230, but no record of a consecration about that time has survived. It had a vaulted porch on the north side of the nave, evidently not on so great a scale as that at Christchurch, but said to have been as much as 40 ft. long, part of the early 13th-century work. In the third quarter of the 13th century the east end of the church was altered by the rebuilding of the two chapels opening eastward from the ambulatory, and the remodelling of the east wall of the presbytery by the destruction of the triforium and clearstory, and the insertion of two very beautiful three-light windows. The only other important structural alteration took place early in the 15th century, c. 1403, when by the advice of Bishop William of Wykeham the accommodation for the parishioners of Romsey, hitherto limited to the north aisle of the nave, was increased by the grant to them of the north transept as the chancel of their church, and the building of a parish nave to the west of the transept, opening to the north aisle by four wide arches. At the Suppression the parish obtained possession of the whole church and the added building on the north became superfluous and was pulled down, its window tracery being used to block the arches opening from the north aisle and transept. In this condition the aisle remained till modern times, when the 12th-century windows and walling in its two eastern bays were 'restored.' The north porch was probably altered when the parish nave was added, and pulled down with it after the Suppression; a new porch has now been built on its site.
The church as it stands to-day is a fine and dignified building, but from the lack of an adequate finish to its tower and the very commonplace nature of its site is far less picturesque externally than many churches of less interest. The interior, on the other hand, is one of the most attractive pieces of 12th-century work to be found in the country, full of interesting details and singularly unspoiled by later alteration. The original effect, indeed, has been greatly altered by the destruction of the triforium and clearstory galleries in the east wall of the presbytery, but the two large windows which replace them, though somewhat out of scale with the rest of the building, are of such singular grace and beauty as to atone completely for the loss of unity in the design. The 12th-century work is faced throughout with Binstead stone of excellent quality, and as durable as it is pleasant in colour. The plan is cruciform, with aisles to the presbytery and nave, and single eastern apses to the transepts, the presbytery aisles being continued across its square east end, and having opened originally to a pair of eastern chapels of the same elevation as the aisles. The plan of these chapels is uncertain and from excavations made in 1909 on their site it seems that their foundations are entirely destroyed by later work. The tower over the crossing rises but little above the roof, being only 92 ft. high to the parapet, and it is not likely that its walls were ever much higher, but it was doubtless capped with a pyramidal roof which must have given a far more satisfactory finish to the church than the present low octagonal wooden turret, which has been not unjustly likened to a hen-coop.
The external elevations are plain, the original windows of the eastern parts of the church having arches with a moulded outer order, and a label with billet or small zigzag ornament. The outer order has jamb-shafts in the capitals, which in most cases are simply scalloped, and a chamfered abacus at the springing is continued as a string along the wall, but stopping against the buttresses.
At the sill level runs a string of more elaborate section, which breaks round the buttresses, and at the base of the walls is a plain chamfered plinth. The buttresses are broad and shallow with recessed angles, the smaller pilasters thus formed stopping in rather aimless fashion at different heights. In the transept apses and western bays of the presbytery aisles they stop under the string at the level of the springing of the window arches, but in the eastern bays they are carried up higher, as if some different finish were originally intended. The main buttresses end flush with the corbel course, which on the north side of the church has been nearly entirely renewed, with a modern ashlar parapet over it. In the original arrangement the eaves came down over the cornice, which has pairs of round-headed arches resting on grotesque heads. The clearstory has simple arcading, each bay having a blank stilted round-headed arch on either side of the wider arch of the window. This has jamb-shafts with scalloped capitals and a roll moulding on the outer order but no labels. Between the bays are plain pilaster buttresses, and the corbel table, which is nearly all modern and of the plainest character, carries an embattled parapet.
The transepts have clasping buttresses at the angles, the western angles containing the stairs, which end in turrets rising above the parapets, and there are similar flat buttresses set in the middle of the end walls stopping at the base of the gables, with plain roundheaded arches springing from them to the angle buttresses and framing the clearstory windows. The gables have been flattened, but preserve an ornamental arcade of semicircular arches across the lower part. In the nave, where the later 12th-century clearstory begins, the treatment is richer, with pairs of tall banded shafts and foliate capitals, the arrangement of blank arcades on either side of the window being preserved on the north side, which is the main approach to the church, but on the south side, which could only be seen from the cloister, the arcades are left out.
The 13th-century work in the nave harmonizes with that of the 12th century, though the detail is naturally different, the cornice having trefoiled arches and the windows being pointed. The earliest form of cornice seems to be that on the earliest part of the building now standing, namely, the third bay of the south aisle of the nave, and is carried on round arches alternating with straight-sided ones. That of the fourth bay has an alternation of pointed and roundheaded arches, and those to the west are of the 13th-century type with trefoiled arches. Probably none of the parapets which stand on the cornices were originally intended, the church having had plain eaves throughout.
The eastern arm of the church is of three bays, with north and south aisles joined at the east by an ambulatory, from which two chapels formerly opened eastward. The eastern limit of the original quire was probably under the east arch of the crossing, the presbytery taking up the whole of the eastern arm, with the upper entrances to the quire (ostia presbyterii) in the western bay.
The bays are separated by half-round shafts on shallow rectangular pilasters, which run up to the tops of the walls, the string at the base of the triforium, and another some feet above the springing of the triforium arches, and being the continuation of their labels, breaking round them. Above the second string the shafts are slighter.
The piers are compound, with engaged half-round shafts flanked by smaller three-quarter shafts, and towards the aisles single half-round shafts. The capitals are scalloped with two, three or four divisions, and the arches are round-headed, and in the north and south arcades considerably stilted, of three orders, the inner with a heavy soffit torus, the second with a three-quarter roll, and the outer with a band of vertical zigzag ornament and a label carved in a sunk lozenge pattern. The triforium stage is about equal in height to the arcade below, and has tall semicircular arches of two orders, with heavy rolls and an enriched label and engaged shafts to each order, with scalloped capitals. The openings are subdivided, inclosing pairs of semicircular arches of a single order with zigzag or similar ornament, but showing an unusual treatment, the tympanum between them and the main arch not being filled with masonry but left open, with a small shaft inserted between the crown of the main arch and the springing of the sub-arches. At the base of the triforium is a string with billet ornament, and another of simple detail at the clearstory level.
The clearstory has three openings to each bay, with circular shafts, half-round responds and scalloped capitals, the middle opening being wider than the others, and carried up with a plain semicircular head and small jamb-shafts standing on the capitals of the main shafts, inclosing a wide round-headed window. The side openings are arched over from the main capitals, but above them are blank arcades carrying on the design of the middle opening.
The internal width of the main span of the presbytery is practically that of the nave of the older church, and was probably regulated by it. The two bays of the main arcade in the east wall have semicircular arches, and their proportions are very well suited to the space they occupy, but the arches of the north and south arcades are too narrowly spaced for their height, and are in consequence considerably stilted, as already noted. This looks as though the site had been confined eastwards and the setting out of the new work cramped.
In spite of the shafts dividing each bay of the general elevation, it is clear that a high vault was never contemplated, and from the line of the ashlar facing above the east arch of the crossing it appears that a flat ceiling was the original finish.
With the aisles and ambulatory the case is different. All are covered with quadripartite ribbed stone vaults, the ribs having no special member in the jambs, but being sprung from corbels set across the angles of the bays, as if unribbed vaults had been originally intended. The rib section is a roll flanked by small hollow-chamfered angles, and the vault cells are plastered, all the plastering being modern. The curve of the diagonal ribs is approximately semicircular, and the transverse arches are very stilted.
The east wall of the presbytery, though never rebuilt, is entirely altered by the insertion over the main arcade of two large three-light windows in the latter part of the 13th century, perhaps as beautiful specimens of their kind as any in the country. They are of three trefoiled lights with three cusped circles over, the upper one quatrefoiled and the two lower cinquefoiled. The heads of the main lights and the rear arches are ornamented with knots of foliage, and mullions and rear arches have slender banded Purbeck marble shafts with moulded capitals and bases. On the pier between the windows is another like shaft, which seems to suggest that a scheme of vaulting the presbytery in stone was at this time proposed. It ends below on a foliate corbel, its base being at a higher level than the others, and from the condition of the wall below, in the spandrel between the two east arches of the main arcade, it is probable that a canopy for an image was fixed here.
The windows now set in the blocked east arches of the ambulatory are of the same character, though less elaborate and beautiful, being of three lights, the middle cinquefoiled and the others trefoiled, with two quatrefoiled and one sexfoiled circle over. The tracery and mullions are moulded with a filleted roll between two hollows and secondary rolls, but the effect is spoilt by clumsy moulded bands inserted at the springing line, replacing original capitals.
On the south jamb of the north arch to the destroyed eastern chapels are some very valuable remains of late 12th or early 13th-century painting, a set of four roundels on a background of foliage with a dado of hanging drapery below. Each roundel contains a scene, now unfortunately much defaced, said to be taken from the story of St. Elfleda.
The 13th-century eastern chapels were of two vaulted bays, with a central pier; the foundations of their east walls are said to have been found in the gardens east of the churchyard. Part of their tiled floor with a low stone bench is still in existence at their north-west angle.
The eastern bays of the aisles are square externally but apsidal within, and have a wide central window flanked by wall arcades of two bays with a sunk-star diaper on the arches. The opening of the apse is spanned by a square-edged semicircular arch with an outer roll, the vaulted ceiling to the east of it being carried by two short square-edged ribs springing from corbels on either side of the east window.
The transverse arches in the aisles are of a single square order, springing from half-round shafts with large scalloped capitals of a rather earlier look than the rest. There are certain exceptions to be noticed later. The bays are lighted by single round-headed lights, those in the south aisle being original, while in the north aisle only the western of the three is old. The middle window is a modern restoration, and the eastern a mid-14th-century insertion, now without tracery.
The capitals of the north aisle are with one exception, and in the western arch, scalloped, but there is much more variety in the ambulatory and south aisle. The wall arcades in the south apse have volute capitals, and those of the transverse arches are in some cases richly carved with acanthus foliage and interlacing scrolls. An early-looking type of capital has plain angular flutes, in two cases combined with a wavy ornament, and several have figures of men or beasts. The most interesting of these are those in the responds of the transverse arches on the east side of the second bay of the vault in each aisle. The north capital in the south aisle has two groups of figures. The first shows an angel between two crowned men, one seated and holding a V-shaped scroll, of which the angel holds the end, and the other standing and holding what looks like a knife. On the scroll is an inscription,' Robert' me fecit.' The second group is of two seated men with a grotesque head between them; they also hold a scroll on which is 'robert tute consule Qs.' The south capital in the north aisle is a battle scane. In the middle a king is fighting with a bearded man, whose wrist he holds; behind the man is an angel, and all round are scattered dead bodies, heads and swords. Behind the king a horse is running away, and above it is a large bird carrying off two heads.
The western bay of each aisle opens to the apsidal chapel of the adjoining transept by a modern roundheaded doorway, over which is a tall opening ranging with the aisle windows and similarly treated, but cut straight through the wall; this is part of the original design. The opening is in each case set in the western half of the bay, to make it fit into the scheme of the arcading round the apse, and the blank space thus left to the east of it towards the aisle is filled, in the south aisle, by two bays of wall arcades like those in the east chapels of the aisles, and in the north aisle by a single plain pointed arch, clearly original work.
The arches opening from the west ends of the aisles to the transepts are of the same design and ornament as those of the presbytery, but the capitals of their responds—the north respond in the north aisle, and the south in the south—are richly carved, while the others are scalloped. Evidence of the progress of the work is here to be seen in the fact that the ribs of the west bay of the aisles spring at the west from separate architectural members—engaged shafts with capitals, instead of small corbels set across the angles.
The apses of the transepts show the same feature, having quadripartite ribbed vaults, with ribs of the same section as the aisles, but springing from four shafts at the level of the capitals of the arch opening to the transept.
The apses have windows on the east, and on the north and south respectively, the wall surfaces between being treated with simple arcading, the shafts ranging with those in the jambs of the windows and having plain scalloped capitals. In the north transept apse are remains of two piscinae to the south of the site of the altar, and a shallow square recess above. The position of the altar is taken by the canopied tomb of Robert Brackley, 1628, a very good specimen of its kind, but out of place. It has a panelled round arch under a broken pediment, carried by Corinthian columns, and a sarcophagus below; it is of stone, painted in imitation of different marbles. In 1851 it was described as being in the 'south ambulatory.'
The internal elevations of the transepts follow the general lines of the presbytery, but there are slight differences of detail. In the north transept the labels of the eastern triforium arches have a small zigzag ornament in two lines, and a single line of it is repeated on the labels in this stage in the north and west walls. On the east wall, as in the presbytery, the label continues as a string across the pilaster between the bays, but this does not occur again in this transept, nor at all in the south transept.
The transepts are two bays deep, the bay in which the apses are set being considerably wider than the other, and in consequence the clearstories of these bays have an extra opening on either side. The clearstory shafts of this bay in the north transept are alternately round and octagonal, but this is not the case in the south transept. The triforium stage below is subdivided in the north transept by three pointed arches formed by the intersection of two semicircular arches, but in the south there are three semicircular arches. They are entirely in modern stonework.
It is notable that the tympanum of the triforium bay next to the crossing in the south transept is solid, and this has been followed in the new work. That in the corresponding bay on the west of the transept also has a solid tympanum.
The south transept is a little more ornamental in its details than the north, having a line of large zigzag ornament in the outer order of all arches on the triforium stage, the labels having either a double row of zigzag or a peculiar ornament like a row of pointed leaves. This occurs in the two eastern and the northwestern bays.
Both transepts were designed for flat ceilings; in their outer western angles are stairs running up the full height, and other stairs start from the triforium level in the outer eastern angles.
The north transept shows a good many traces of its use from the end of the 14th century as the chancel of the parish church of Romsey.
The west window in its north wall has been mutilated and fitted with tracery, and a 16th-century door is cut through beneath it, with a holy water recess to the east, and a second recess now fitted up as a place for a hydrant. Under the east window in this wall a small four-centred opening with a marked eastward splay has been cut; it is now blocked externally, but would have commanded a view of the parish altar. To the south of the arch opening to the eastern apse is a small 15th-century stone bracket for an image, and in the west wall an original window with a blank arcade on each side has been mutilated by the cutting through the wall of a segmental pointed arch, opening to the parish nave, built against the north aisle of the monastic nave. The arch is now blocked and in it is set a squareheaded three-light window with cinquefoiled lights. The two lower stages of the west wall of the south transept do not range with the rest, because the setting of the cloister against this wall made a different scheme of lighting necessary. An interlacing wall arcade of seven bays is set below a group of three round-headed lights, the middle of which is taller than the others. That this is not the original arrangement may be seen from outside; the splays have been altered, and at first there were three windows of equal height in the wall, and the springing of the middle window, now heightened, may be seen cut into the form of engaged shafts in a very curious manner.
The crossing arches are of three plain square orders without labels, those opening to the transepts being semicircular, with three engaged shafts in each respond, while in the east and west arches, which are of a wider span, the two outer orders are awkwardly stilted, only the inner being semicircular. The object of the widening is to do away with the responds as much as possible, for when the monastic quire occupied the space beneath the tower the responds would have narrowed the available space if carried down to the ground. Their slight projection in the east arch made it easy to stop them on ornamental corbels just below the level of the triforium floor, the billeted string of the presbytery being returned round them. In the western arch the treatment is more effective and simpler, the arch having no capital at the springing, but a corbel carved with a scale pattern, which dies into the wall at once.
Above the arches runs a gallery of three double bays on each side, with projecting half-round shafts between the bays, standing on corbels, and ending in scalloped capitals under the beams of the flat ceiling, which is likewise modern.
The stage above, now hidden, has plain windows on each side, and was originally open to the church, forming the lantern over the crossing. The effect must have been very satisfactory, and it is a pity that no other place for the bells than the upper story of this lantern is now available.
The nave shows in a very interesting way the gradual progress of the work. It is of seven bays, and leaving out for the moment the evidences of early work in the aisles, which belong to the story of the former church, seems to have been set up as follows:—
First work, c. 1150–70.—Three bays and the east respond of the fourth bay of the main arcade on the north, with two bays and the east respond of the third bay of the triforium over; four bays of the main arcade on the south, and two bays and the east respond of the third bay of the triforium over. In the clearstory only the east respond and one pillar in the east bay on each side.
Second work, c. 1180.—Completion of the fourth bay of the main arcade on the north and building of the east respond of the fifth. Triforium and clearstory finished to the end of the fourth bay. On the south the triforium and clearstory carried to the same point.
Third work, c. 1210–30.—The three west bays of the nave in all stages.
There are certain minor changes in the course of the work which show a further subdivision, but they are not of sufficient importance to be taken separately.
The arches of the main arcade in the first work have scalloped capitals, and arches of two orders, the outer square and the inner with a wide torus on the soffit, and there is a plain chamfered label.
The two eastern bays of the nave show that a scheme of double bays was at first intended, with circular piers alternating with clustered ones, but this was abandoned before the third bay was built, and the details do not suggest any particular break in the work.
The middle pier of the first two bays runs up into the triforium, where it is finished with a large scalloped capital, while at the springing of the main arcade there is no capital towards the nave, but a scalloped capital like that above is carried round about two-thirds of the circumference, to provide springing for the nave arches and aisle vault.
At the base of the triforium a billeted string like that in the presbytery is continued westward, but without breaking round the shafts dividing the bays, up to the west of the fourth bay on either side of the nave.
The dividing shafts appear of greater projection than those in the presbytery, having in addition to the pilaster and half-round shaft a pair of flanking shafts, which run up without a break to the springing of the triforium arches, but the extra projection is only obtained by thinning the walls in the main arcades, the normal thickness being regained in the triforium. This arrangement, which is part of the two-bay scheme of the eastern bays, is continued in the third and fourth bays, and in a modified form in the later work. There are many traces of damage by fire in the eastern bays of the nave, the main arches of the two east bays on the north being now faced with cement, and the second and third on the south have been similarly treated. The sub-arches and central pillars of the triforium are entirely modern on both sides for four bays, but the clearstory has escaped damage, as far as can be seen. The east bays on each side are markedly narrower than the rest, and the eastern arch of the south main arcade is more elaborate, having an outer order of zigzag and a richly worked label, belonging rather to the work of the south transept than to that of the nave; it fits very awkwardly to the circular pier on the west.
The two eastern bays of the triforium correspond on both sides of the nave, having semicircular main arches with a heavy roll between two square orders; on the south this arch is cement faced in the east bay, and the modern subdividing arches also correspond, having a line of zigzag in the east bays and a plain square order in the second bay.
The third and fourth bays of the triforium on both sides belong to the second work, and have semicircular main arches, moulded in two orders with rolls and hollows, and their capitals are of a late fluted scallop type; the third bay has moulded subarches, open above, with the usual little shaft, but in the fourth bay, where the moulded arches are of a later type, the tympanum is solid.
The four east bays of the clearstory, with the exception of a small part of the eastern bay, belong entirely to the second work, and have three moulded and pointed arches of equal height, the middle one being wider than the others, and inclosing a wide pointed window. The shafts are square with small engaged shafts at the angles, keeled in the side openings and rounded in the middle ones, having plain leaf capitals. In the side bays are rounded sub-arches at a lower level, springing from half-capitals at the backs of the shafts; on the north these are scalloped in all four bays, but only in the two east bays on the south, the other two having awkward chamfered capitals. A survival of older work is seen in the middle opening of the east bay on the south, which has zigzag ornament on its pointed arch instead of the later mouldings.
The fourth bay of the main arcade on the north, which is the only one belonging to the second work, has a semicircular arch of two orders, the inner plain, and the outer with a line of horizontal zigzag and a dogtooth label. Its eastern capital, belonging to the first work, takes both orders of the arch, but the western is subdivided, having twin shafts to the inner order and foliate capitals with a common abacus, and there are flanking shafts with similar capitals to the outer order on both sides. Towards the nave a pair of half-round shafts run up to the springing of the triforium arches, flanked by smaller shafts, the billet string at the sill of the triforium being carried round them. The shafts are of less projection than those in the first work, and stop at the triforium level with fluted capitals, but above them a single half-round shaft matching those in the earlier work is corbelled out and carried up to the roof as before.
The three western bays, belonging to the third work, have in the main arcades pointed arches with a chamfered inner and moulded outer order, and a moulded label; the bases have foliate spurs, and the capitals are all moulded in the south arcade, and for the most part foliate in the north, with a few moulded. They are comparatively shallow, but the foliage is of the earlier type, with tight bunches of leaves on the upper parts In the triforium fluted capitals predominate, though both moulded and foliate also occur, and in the clearstory nearly all are fluted.
The shafts towards the nave between the bays are triple, and of greater projection than those in the older work; they are crossed by a moulded string at the base of the triforium, and by a simple roll at the base of the clearstory, the latter being of the same section as that further to the east. Above this they set back, with a moulded base, and are finished at the roof with moulded capitals. In the ground stage they are set on a rectangular pilaster flanked by small shafts, the pilaster merging into the wall face at the triforium level, and the shafts taking the outer order of the triforium arcades. These arcades are of two orders with deeply moulded pointed arches of rather ungraceful shape, being struck from a point well below their capitals, and the wide openings are divided by two moulded trefoiled sub-arches springing from a central column of four engaged circular shafts, and carrying a masonry spandrel pierced in the middle by a moulded quatrefoil, the inner order of which originally had roll cusps. In the eastern bay of this work on the south side there are three trefoiled sub-arches instead of two.
The clearstory carries on the design of the earlier bays with little variation, except that the lower range of arches is pointed and not semicircular.
The west wall is occupied by three tall lancets, their sills ending with a moulded string at the level of the springing of the main arcades, and their arched heads being at the same level as those of the clearstory. Groups of three engaged shafts between the lights carry the moulded arches, and above them the wall is thinned, a passage being carried across at this level. In the gable above is a large circular window inclosing a quatrefoil, intended to light the roof-space, as the whole design is arranged for a flat wooden ceiling, instead of the ribbed wagon-headed ceiling now in existence.
The first three bays of the north aisle belong to the first work of the nave and have original vaults with ribs whose section is a roll between two fillets, while the transverse arches are of a single square order, considerably stilted. They spring from halfround pilasters on both sides of the aisles, but the ribs, while springing from small flanking shafts on the north wall, have no special member provided to take them in the main arcade. In each bay of the north wall, as first built, was a wide roundheaded window with jamb-shafts, with a chamfered string at the sill, but these were cut through and nearly destroyed when the arches opening to the parish nave outside the north wall were inserted. The original arrangement has been restored in the two eastern bays, but in the third bay the 15th-century arch remains, only the head of the original window showing on the outer face of the wall. When the parish nave was pulled down after the monastic church became the property of the parish its north windows were inserted in the 15th-century arches, and in the third bay the lower part of the inserted window, with four cinquefoiled lights, is still in position.
The fourth bay of the aisle belongs to the second work, and has a ribbed vault with a late form of zigzag ornament on the ribs and a carved boss at the crown. The transverse arch has a square section as in the earlier work, but springs from pairs of halfround shafts with foliate capitals, and the ribs of the vault are provided with special members on both sides of the aisles, those in the north wall continuing to the ground like those of the main arcade, instead of being stopped on a string at the level of the window sills. The inserted 15th-century arch remains in the north wall of this bay, and in it are set the traceried head and upper parts of the cinquefoiled lights of one of the four-light north windows of the destroyed parish nave. In this bay stands the modern font of 13th-century design, and here and in the next bay eastward are kept a number of masonry fragments and details from different parts of the building.
The three west bays of this aisle are covered with quadripartite vaults with moulded ribs springing from triple shafts with foliate capitals. The capitals, springers and wall ribs are original, but the rest of the vaults is of lath and plaster and of 19th-century date. In the west wall and on the north side of the two west bays are wide single lancets with moulded rear arches and jamb-shafts with foliate capitals like those of the main arcades, while in the east bay, against which a contemporary vaulted porch formerly stood, is the principal doorway of the church, which has a fine segmental rear arch with dogtooth ornament in arch and label and Purbeck marble shafts in the jambs. On the outer face it has a twocentred arch with a chamfered inner order and a moulded outer one with dogtooth in the labels and jamb-shafts with foliate capitals, the shafts being modern.
In the south aisle of the nave the two eastern bays are irregularly spaced, on account of the existence of older walling to the west of them in the south wall, and have also certain affinities in detail with the south transept, like the east bay of the main arcade on this side. The vault in the east bay is different from any others in the church, the section of the ribs being three rolls separated by small fillets and flanked by hollows. The transverse arch at the west of the bay has a torus like that on the nave arches, but set between two chamfers, and is less stilted than the rest, being of wider span. It springs on the north from a half-round shaft set against the large circular pier of the arcade, this shaft and the corresponding one on the south wall being flanked by smaller shafts set anglewise in the direction of the lines of the diagonal ribs. The bases on the south side have claw spurs, but not those on the north. The three shafts on the large circular nave pier are perhaps added to it, as there is no evidence of bonding in the masonry, though the joints appear to range in nearly every case.
In the south wall of the east bay is a small roundheaded window with jamb-shafts and early-looking capitals and a roll on its inner arch, set very high to allow for the eastern cloister door immediately below it. At its sill level is a string with the peculiar leaf ornament which occurs in the south transept, and the door below has a label, continued as a string, with a lozenge diaper somewhat like that in the presbytery. Below this string to the west of the door is one bay of a plain wall arcade of interlacing round-headed arches, springing from square pilasters with chamfered angles. The south side of the doorway towards the cloister is a very pretty piece of work, though mutilated by the line of a later roof. It is set in a projection equal in depth to the buttresses on the outer face of the south wall, and has a semicircular arch of three orders, the outer of which has had large carved paterae on alternate voussoirs, now mostly cut away, and a label with palmette foliage. The second order has a cable moulded edge roll flanked by a hollow set with 'rosettes,' and has a diaper pattern on its soffit, while the inner order has a line of zigzag with flowers in the soffit set on quatrefoils of leaves. There are twisted jamb-shafts to both inner orders, and the capitals have simple foliage and interlacing scrolls, in one case with a curious resemblance to work of a much earlier date. The window above has a label with the 'leaf' ornament already noted in the transepts, and a line of zigzag on the arch. The second bay of the aisle has the same arrangement of triple shafts in the south wall, but the transverse arch is of a single square order, and the diagonal ribs are like those of the north aisle, with a torus between two fillets. The wall arcade continues on the south wall, with the ornamented string over it, but at a slightly lower level than in the east bay, and over it is an entirely modern window of 12th-century style.
The third and fourth bays bear evidence of several alterations. The south wall in each bay is of smaller and rougher ashlar work both inside and out, and probably belongs, as already noticed, to the oldest work now above ground. The half-round respond between the bays appears to be an insertion, and with the vault of the third bay belongs to the first work of the nave arcades. That it is not the first vault here is shown by the line on the south wall of the wall cell of another vault to which the ashlar facing is fitted. The wall sets back at a chamfered string, at a higher level than in the north wall, because of the cloister roof outside, and the window above has a round arched head cut straight through the wall, but with splayed jambs, and jamb-shafts in its rear arch with one scalloped and one cushion capital. The vault ribs spring from small shafts on the south wall, but have no special member on the nave side. In the fourth bay the south-west respond, with the vault, belongs to the second work of the nave, and the vault-ribs have a section more like those of the presbytery aisles, with a roll between two hollows, and the window, which follows the design of that in the third bay, is also of the second date.
The three remaining bays are, generally speaking, like those opposite to them in the north aisle, but the windows are shorter and set higher in the wall to clear the cloister roof, and have segmental rear arches. In the west bay the south window is of plainer detail and blank, the western range of claustral buildings having abutted here. The western cloister door is set in the west half of the middle bay of the three, and is of plainer character than that in the north wall, with a moulded segmental arch, engaged jamb-shafts, and a line of dogtooth in the head.
The fittings of the church are with one exception entirely modern, but some evidence of former arrangements is obtainable. In 1900, during the process of reflooring the nave, the retaining walls and pits of stalls were partly uncovered, and showed masonry of two dates, the older of which contained some re-used 12th-century stones, and was set against the bases of the south arcade in a way which showed that it was of later date than the arcade.
The present quire fittings are entirely modern, except that the screen set in the east arch of the crossing contains in its upper part some 14th-century detail, consisting of a row of open trefoils inclosing small heads, with cresting above. It seems to have stood in the north transept, separating the parish chancel from the monastic church, but was moved thence to the west end of the nave, where early in the last century an organ gallery stood. After this it was taken down and stowed away in the nave triforium, but finally unearthed by Mr. Berthon, the late vicar, and set up about 1880 in its present position, a new lower part being made to match the old work.
In the north aisle of the presbytery is a large wooden frame filled with upright boarding, and having a ledge at the foot, which seems to have been the reredos of an altar. It is painted in two tiers, the upper having a row of nine saints, St. Jerome, St. Francis and St. Sebastian on the right, St. Rock, and two saints of doubtful identity on the left, and in the middle a Benedictine abbess, perhaps St. Merwinna, between a bishop and a Benedictine abbot. The lower tier shows the Resurrection of our Lord. He stands between two pairs of soldiers, beyond whom are two angels censing, and in the right hand corner the kneeling figure of a Benedictine abbess, holding a scroll with 'surrexit dominus de sepulcro.' Behind the figures is painted drapery in alternate stripes of red and green, and the background of the upper tier is red, with pilasters in gold between the figures of marked Renaissance design, showing that the whole can be little, if at all, earlier than 1530. A small figure of a woman in secular dress, with a 'kennel' head-dress, kneels at the feet of St. Francis, who is the only saint to be thus distinguished.
On another wooden panel near by is the kneeling figure of a man, of much better style, against a red background powdered with flowers and wolves' or goats' heads razed in gold, and gilt stars of gesso. He wears a grey amess, and above him are the arms of Wykeham.
A 15th-century cope of green figured velvet embroidered with stars, and having red velvet orphreys embroidered with flowers, palmettes and pineapples, is here preserved, having been cut up at one time to serve as an altar cloth.
In the east ambulatory are preserved several good marble coffin slabs, one with a hand holding an earlylooking crozier, and another with a floreate cross and foliage along the hollow edges, and on one side a crozier held by a woman's hand coming out of the side of the slab.
Another has in 14th-century lettering 'Johanna hic jacet humata cuius anime Cristus det pacem.' This must refer to Joan Icthe, ob. 1349, or Joan Gervase, 1352.
A fine French chest with traceried front and sides, c. 1500, stands here; it has a very fine tinned iron lock plate and a crowned shield cheveronny. On a table near by are parts of two stone cressets, which had three and four holes originally.
But the most interesting relic in this part of the church is the stone slab set into the reredos of the altar in the south-east chapel, carved with a crucifixion. It is perhaps 10th-century work, and shows our Lady and St. John, and below them two soldiers, one with the sponge and reed, and the other piercing our Lord's side with a spear. Leafy branches spring from the stem of the cross, and on its arms are seated two angels. The reredos in which it is set is good 15th-century screenwork with traceried heads brought from elsewhere.
In the south transept is a very fine canopied tomb, c. 1330, under the south-east window. It contains a late 13th-century Purbeck marble effigy of a lady in a loose gown with tight sleeves, and a mantle fastened as usual across the breast. Her right hand holds a fold of the gown and her left is raised to touch the cord fastening the mantle. She wears a falling head-dress and a wimple, and her feet rest on a dog. No name can be given to the person represented, who is certainly not an abbess, but the work is extremely good, and she was no doubt someone of importance. The tomb and effigy have no connexion with each other, the latter having been dug up near the west end of the nave and placed in the tomb because it happened to fit it. In the north aisle of the presbytery is an early 16th-century marble altar tomb of the common type, which has lost its brasses and shields, and, like the other tomb, is of unknown attribution.
The modern monuments in the church are of no great importance, the most interesting being a raised tomb with an effigy by Westmacott, intended to represent Sir William Petty, who was buried here in 1623.
The monastic buildings other than the church have left but little trace. The cloister was on the south side of the nave, and two rows of corbels in the south wall and several lines of weatherings and grooves for roofs witness to alterations in its levels, and doubtless rebuildings, at various dates. The abutment of the western range of claustral buildings shows clearly at the west end of the south aisle of the nave, but the eastern range did not abut against the south transept, as in normal cases, except at the south-west angle, where the lines of a very small gabled roof and a 13th-century foliate corbel are to be seen.
It is possible that here, as at Peterborough, the line of the eastern range was affected by the position of a Saxon eastern range, which abutted against the south transept of the former church, to the west of the 12th-century transept. Nothing but excavation can clear up the question, and the chances of this are very remote, as the site of the greater part of the cloister is now covered by gardens. Parts of the frater walls may, however, be still standing in a house to the south of the church. In the angle east of the eastern procession door of the cloister, sometimes called the Abbess's door, is a corbel, perhaps for a lamp or cresset, and in the west wall of the transept near by is the well-known rood, a fine and dignified figure of Christ, shown as living, with head erect and open eyes, arms outstretched and horizontal, not drooping, and feet planted side by side on a sloping block resting on a corbel. Round the loins is a short tunic, and above the head is the hand of God among clouds. The work is in high relief and the modelling somewhat spare but full of feeling, and showing considerable mastery of the human form. The date of this fine work has been much disputed, but the first half of the 11th century is perhaps the most likely period. Another uncertain date is that of its setting up in its present position, carefully inserted in the 12th-century wall. Close to it on the south is a recess for a lamp, once covered with a grate, with three holes in the stonework above it for the escape of smoke, but whether this has any particular connexion with the rood may be doubted.
The lantern contains eight bells, which were recast in 1791.
The plate consists of a silver chalice of 1568, another of 1637; a silver paten of 1659 and another of 1741; a silver flagon of 1727 and an almsdish of 1732; also a silver-gilt chalice and paten of 1892.
There are six books of registers, the first a paper book, apparently a transcript made about 1626, containing mixed entries from 1569 to 1629; the second mixed entries from 1629 to 1727, with gaps in the burials and marriages between 1689 and 1700; the third baptisms and burials from 1727 to 1756 and marriages from 1727 to 1754; the fourth marriages from 1754 to 1802; the fifth baptisms and burials from 1756 to 1812; the sixth marriages from 1802 to 1812.
The conventual church of Romsey was prebendal, having two canons and prebendaries who were presented by the abbess and convent. (fn. 269) The tithes were divided into three portions; one called the portion of Walter de Parham taxed at 44 marks; a second called the portion of Robert Maidstone valued at; o marks, held respectively by the canons; and the portion of the abbess taxed at 16 marks. (fn. 270) In the ordination in 1321 of a perpetual vicarage, in the gift of the canons of Romsey, (fn. 271) the vicar was endowed with two corrodies from the abbess, formerly taken by the canons, all small tithes, and all legacies and obventions at the altar of St. Laurence and elsewhere in the church. (fn. 272) He seems to have subsequently commuted this for a fixed sum of 18 marks. (fn. 273) The rectory was appropriated to the abbess and convent, (fn. 274) and, with the advowson of the vicarage, was granted by Henry VIII in 1541 to the Dean and Chapter of Winchester. (fn. 275) The vicarage, which is of the net yearly value of £230 with glebe worth £30, is now in the patronage of the Bishop of Winchester.
In 1331 Nicholas Braishfield and Emma his wife had licence from the abbess to found a chantry of one chaplain to celebrate divine service daily in the chapel of St. Nicholas in Romsey Church for the souls of Nicholas and Emma after death, and of all faithful dead. (fn. 276) As an endowment they granted the abbess and convent a messuage and 25 acres of land in Romsey and released all their right to the custody of the gate of the abbey with a rent of 365 loaves, 365 gallons of convent ale, 365 loaves for servants, 15s. 2d. for food from the kitchen, 5s. for a robe and 19 quarters of bran, payable by the convent. (fn. 277) The following year Nicholas and Emma granted an additional 3½ acres of land and 2½ acres of meadow to the chaplain, (fn. 278) and in 1335 Emma, then a widow, granted the reversion of 6 messuages, 60 acres of land, 13½ acres of meadow and a rent of 34s. 11d. to the abbess and convent. (fn. 279)
In 1476 a chantry, called the Chantry or Fraternity of St. George, was founded by the king's kinsman, William Earl of Arundel, and others, wardens of the church of St. Laurence, Romsey. (fn. 280) At the Dissolution the chantry was worth £8 9s. 4d., with plate, ornaments, &c., to the value of £1 8s. 10d. (fn. 281)
At Woodley, 1¾ miles east, is a school chapel, erected in 1859 and serving as a chapel of ease to Romsey parish church. On weekdays it is used as a school. At Lee, 2 miles south, is another chapel of ease, erected in 1862 by the third Lord Palmerston.
At Ridge, 2 miles south-west, is a school chapel, erected in 1875 by the late Lord Mount-Temple.
The Abbey Congregational Church was originally founded in 1662 by Thomas Warren, the ejected rector of Houghton, near Romsey. The present building was erected in 1887–8. The Wesleyan chapel in The Hundred was erected in 1881.
The Baptist chapel was originally founded in 1750, but the present building in Bell Street was erected in 1811.
The Primitive Methodist chapel in Middle Bridge Street was erected in 1895.
The Municipal Charities are administered and managed by a body of trustees constituted under the provisions of a scheme of the Charity Commissioners, dated 24 February 1899, and consist of the following:—
Charity of John Kent, founded by will, 1688, endowed with 52a. 2r. in Eling let at £80 a year; Charity of John Kent, founded by codicil to said will, endowed with land at Priestlands in Romsey Infra let at £76 a year, and with £134 15s. 5d. consols, with the official trustees.
Thomas Burbank's Charity, will, 1707, moiety of Street Mead, containing 1a. 1r. 25p. of the annual value of £2 15s.; Thomas Coleman's Charity, founded by will, 1838, consistingof 5 shares of £10 each and 8 shares of £5 each in the Romsey Gas and Coke Company, Limited, held by the official trustees, producing £9 a year; Samuel Dunch's Charity, will, 1649, being meadow land known as Dunch's head, containing 2a. 2r. 25p. let at £13 19s.
Charity of Standley Holmes, deed, 1654, endowed with 2a. known as Cock Close, let at £12 6s. 8d., and £154 7s. 11d. consols, with the official trustees (1/26th part of the income of the property specified under the heading of the Charity of John Kent founded by codicil).
Thomas Shory's Charity, will, 1702, 4a. 1r. 21 p. at Abbotswood, let at £9 a year, which is distributed among the poor by the mayor and vicar; Charity of Richard Venables, will, 1598, being a rent-charge of £5 4s. issuing out of a house in Laurence Pountney Lane, London; and Charity of the Hon. Andrews Windsor (see under Southampton), being a contingent interest in a sum of £100 consols, held by the official trustees, on default by the minister of St. Laurence, Southampton, to administer the Sacrament on the days directed by the founder.
The scheme provides for the appointment by the town council of three representative trustees and of five co-optative trustees, and directs (inter alia) payment to the vicar of the yearly sum of £1 out of the income of the charity of John Kent, founded by will, and of the residue of the yearly income of the charity of John Kent, founded by codicil, after deducting £8, and of the yearly sum of £10 to the mayor out of the income of the charity of John Kent, founded by will—subject to the payments aforesaid, the yearly income of the charities to be applied primarily for the benefit of four almspeople. The trustees are also thereby authorized to apply the residue of the income in the formation of a fund for the erection of additional almshouses, or in payment of pensions, donations in aid of the funds of any dispensary, hospital or convalescent home, or any institution in which children suffering from any bodily infirmity are taught a trade. The almspeople and pensioners to be poor women of good character and to receive not less than 5s. a week, with a preference for those who are resident in the area which constituted the borough of Romsey previous to its enlargement in 1876. In December 1906 a sum of £240 was in hand towards providing additional almshouses.
Bartlett's Almshouses.—In 1809 John Bartlett, by deed (enrolled) 11 September 1809, conveyed to trustees six messuages and gardens in Middle Bridge Street upon trust to permit six single women to live therein.
The same donor by his will, proved in the P.C.C., 1817, endowed the same with £6,700 consols, now £6,890 Leeds Corporation 3 Per Cent. Stock, with the official trustees. In 1906 the six inmates received £29 5s. each.
The Abbey Congregational Chapel and trust property consists of the meeting-house, erected in 1887 on land comprised in a deed of 8 February 1830, at a cost of £10,000; also of the manse and Abbey Hall adjoining, comprised in a deed of 1 July 1859, and in 1873 class-rooms and chapel keeper's house were acquired. The official trustees also hold a sum of £193 18s. 5d. consols, the income of which is applicable for the benefit of the minister, under the trusts declared by a deed, dated 20 January 1864.
By an order of the Charity Commissioners of 2 April 1897 trustees were appointed, and authority given to raise a sum not exceeding £1,600 towards payment off of the balance of the cost of erection of chapel.
Educational Charities.—The endowment of John Nowes' Charity, founded by will, 1718, now consists of the Dibden Manor Estate, purchased in 1862 for £25,000, with the proceeds of the sale to Lord Palmerston of the original charity estate, amounting to £13,000, the balance being raised by mortgages. The extent of the trust estate is about 1,200 acres, including 700 acres of mudlands, forming the foreshore, and producing an income of £540 a year. The expenses of management and interest on the mortgages exceed £500 a year. A scheme was established in 1879 under the Endowed Schools Acts, but its provisions have been in abeyance owing to financial stress.
The original trusts were for clothing and apprenticing scholars of this parish and other places in Hampshire, Yeovil and other places in Somerset, Salisbury and Fisherton Anger in Wiltshire.
In 1723 Sir John St. Barbe by will, 1723, charged his farm at Broadlands with an annuity of £25, for the instruction and clothing of ten poor boys and for placing them out in some trade.